Nutritional Guidelines – Keeping Kids Safe
Anaphylaxis management is a shared responsibility among allergic students, parents, caregivers and the entire school or childcare community. Teachers and staff can help to reduce risks and create an allergy-safe environment for all students by following certain guidelines.
Identifying kids at risk:
Administrators should collect information about a student’s medical condition at the time of registration.
All staff including supply or substitute teachers must be aware of students with a severe allergy and have access to their allergy information.
Information about children with life-threatening allergies should be readily available.
Students at risk should wear medical identification such as a MedicAlert® bracelet.
School Anaphylaxis Plans:
All schools should have a comprehensive written School Anaphylaxis Plan which clearly defines roles and responsibilities based on:
- Respect for others
- Sound medical information
- Good avoidance strategies
- Staff training
- Realistic expectations of what the school community can do to safeguard allergic students.
In Elementary Schools
Many elementary schools have adopted different practices to reduce the risk of food-related allergic reactions such as:
- A ‘no sharing’ policy for food-allergic children.
- Procedures for proper hand washing and clean-up to be monitored by lunch supervisors.
- Some schools have appealed to the community to keep peanut butter and other peanut/tree nut products out of the school.
- Some schools require that children who bring peanut/tree nut products to school eat lunch at a designated table in the lunchroom or ask that food-allergic children sit at a table that has been designated ‘allergy-safe’.
- Strategies to reduce the risk for other food allergens (e.g., milk, egg, sesame) and stinging insect allergy are usually developed in consultation with school staff, nurses (where available) and parents/guardians of allergic children.
Peanut Allergy Do’s:
- Always wash hands before and after eating
- Get help from an adult if you are worried about an allergic child
- Always watch out for things that could make an allergic child sick
Peanut Allergy Don’ts:
- Never make fun of kids with food allergies
- Don’t share food with a food-allergic child
- Never bring snacks to school that could make an allergic child sick
- Don’t share straws, forks, knives or spoons
Remember, ingredients and manufacturing processes can change, so always read the label, every time to make the most informed choices.